CASE STUDY: G4S ZAMBIA, IMPROVES OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY WITH BLOODHOUND’S WORKFORCE OPTIMISATION SOLUTION
Bloodhound’s solution has had a substantial impact on both business efficiency and growth strategy. In addition, FILE13 provided the most effective and accurate means of monitoring personnel and service levels at G4S Zambia on a national scale.
With international headquarters based in London, G4S is an industry-leading security company, specialising in providing security manpower, services and technical solutions globally. Their Zambia branch, G4S Secure Solutions Zambia Ltd (G4S Zambia), provides a broad range of security solutions to commercial, individual, and government customers. G4S Zambia has been operational since 1968 and is managed from its headquarters in the Lusaka industrial area. In addition to Lusaka, G4S operates in 12 branch offices across Zambia, and has a comprehensive operational footprint with a strong presence across the country and over 5500 personnel.
G4S Zambia first implemented Bloodhound’s guard monitoring solution in December 2018. They needed a system that was going to be extremely accurate and capable of providing detailed audittrails in order to offer full transparency and counter any possibility of manipulation. Initially, G4S only used Bloodhound’s AndRover Patrol to monitor and ensure that guards are completing their scheduled patrols at, amongst others, the United States (US) Embassy sites in Zambia. The implementation of Bloodhound’s AndRover Patrol solution ensured that G4S security officers were optimally deployed and performing their duties in the correct areas and at the correct times. The purpose of patrols (also known as guard tours) is to provide clients with peace of mind that their assets are being safeguarded by the assigned security officers and that any incidents are reported and reacted on in real-time. In the months following the initial
implementation, G4S Zambia experienced tremendous growth and by mid-2019, they were using more than 100 AndRover Patrol smart devices. Later in 2019, Bloodhound set up a meeting with Jon Mortimer, G4S Zambia’s Managing Director, and introduced him to Bloodhounds’ FILE13 workforce optimisation solution.
Why G4S Zambia chose FILE13
G4S were facing a typical challenge associated with their industry: finding the ideal mediator between all stakeholders. This is illustrated in the Venn diagram below. First, the company needed a transparent way to manage the performance and activities of their employees and guards who were co located across Lusaka and other parts of Zambia. Second, they had to manage client expectations (such as the US embassy) to ensure they maintain an excellent service reputation. Last, G4S’s ground staff and area managers needed an effective way to resolve any critical problems either logged by the client or by guards onsite.
As FILE13’ paperless solution is built to communicate in real-time, with full transparency and with various stakeholder groups, it became G4S’s solution of choice.
Onboarding Bloodhound FILE13
G4S Zambia first rolled out FILE13 in Lusaka as a pilot project testing the solution at a number of its sites. Upon completion of the testing phase, Bloodhound assisted G4S to iron out any grey areas and complications whereafter they updated the workflows on the FILE13 interactive dashboard and finalised the format of the daily reports. Not only were the workflows of the new solution more comprehensive, but the daily reports were significantly more userfriendly, providing management with the critical information they needed at first glance and in real-time.
Challenges overcome by Bloodhound’s FILE13 workforce optimisation solution
1. Visibility and transparency of security officers
Currently, G4S Zambia operates at 800 sites across a number of different regions. In addition to the US Embassy, these sites also include the residences of US and United Nations diplomats employed at the embassy. These residences are patrolled daily which requires verification that guards are deployed correctly (proof of presence), are on their post during their shift (visibility), and are equipped correctly (ie correct uniforms). Before implementing Bloodhound’s FILE13 the following tasks were done manually using a paper-based system that included manual checklists, notebooks, and handwritten reports:
- incident management
- equipment audits
- site visit reports
- client feedback survey
This made it hard to collate and present a coherent overview that could accurately depict the overall productivity of the security workforce. For example: due to the tedious nature of paper-based reporting, it was a near-impossible task to present G4S’ finance department with the supporting evidence that would justify special funding to be allocated towards new officers uniforms. This posed a substantial reputational risk to G4S Zambia.
“In the past, due to the slow and time-consuming process of the old paper-based system, it would have taken months to obtain the necessary information to support budget allocation from the financial department to purchase new uniforms. As the current uniforms were becoming worn out, it would have tarnished G4S’s reputation if not replaced. Within a week of using Bloodhound’s FILE13 solution, I was able to collect substantiated data to compile an accurate report that convinced G4S’s finance department to allocate the required funding to address the substandard condition of some of the security officers’ uniforms,” says Gerhard Pretorius, Operating
2. Proof of presence and real-time incident escalations
One of the main challenges G4S Zambia experienced was that supervisors were dispatched but there was no way to monitor where they spent their time, what they were doing or the quality of their work. There were furthermore a number of incidents where security officers opening gates were injured when, for example, the gates came off the rails or detached from their hinges. Typically, an investigation into an incident or injury resulted in months of going back and forth trying to prove exactly what had happened. If non-compliance with the service level agreement (SLA) was established, it could result in huge penalties. With FILE13’s real time escalation of non-compliance exceptions and automated daily reports, investigations can be concluded in less than 24 hours.
“Usually, what would happen if there was an incident, or when a customer log an enquiry, we would dispatch supervisors to the site to try and establish the facts of the incident and obtain the necessary information to respond to the client’s enquiry. In the past, all results were recorded manually. We had no way of tracking or monitoring what they were actually doing or whether the manual information was correct, accurate and truthful. Supervisors are the link between management’s decisions and the execution on the ground, but management had very little information to monitor our supervisors’ performance,” explains Jon Mortimer, Managing Director of G4S Zambia.
G4S Zambia decided to combine the necessary critical safety points into a FILE13 workflow which the supervisor had to complete when arriving on site. This detailed “gate” audit is now regularly completed using the FILE13 app and includes checking whether the gate is stopping when an obstacle obscures its path, whether the rails are clean, whether the hinges are tight and working, or whether a service should be scheduled.
3. Cash-in-transit/ATM operations
Once G4S Zambia started seeing the value of FILE13 in terms of officer visibility and improved performance of their supervisors and security guards, the management team wanted to replicate this success within their cash-in-transit/ATM operations. All ATMs that G4S serviced on behalf of their customers had to be inspected. Within these operations, proof of presence, proof of compliance, exception escalations and reporting of both supervisors (on the guarding side) and custodians (on the ATMs’ side) were required. QR codes were assigned to all ATMs to ensure transparent proof of presence during service delivery. All ATMs were loaded on FILE13’s scheduling platform and assigned to the respective cash-in-transit supervisors’ mobile devices. On the guarding side, daily checklists were created on FILE13 for the cash in-transit officers’ mobile devices that ensured duties were performed on time, at the right ATM, and in compliance with the SLA.
“With FILE13, we now get our ATM reports and vehicle inspection reports every morning. We can immediately see what the main exceptions are, and when required, go into more detail. What makes this ideal is the executive summary on the first page that provides an easy-to-interpret graphic summary of all the exceptions, which makes it far easier to manage from a senior management
The result: An effective solution to monitor national operations and respond timeously
Since implementing FILE13, G4S Zambia have not only seen a remarkable improvement in their operational efficiency but personnel have adopted FILE13 as a user-friendly tool to assist them with their day-to-day tasks and activities. Management can now easily identify operational zones as well as monitor how many sites have been visited and what exceptions were escalated. In addition, everything can be traced back to the supervisor responsible for a specific area. This allows management to calculate, for example, how much time a supervisor or custodian spends per site and what exactly has been done at each site – information G4S management did not have before onboarding FILE13. In addition, FILE13 ensures compliance with both legislative and regulatory requirements and standards such as OHS and ISO.
“One of the best features of FILE13 is that we can customise it to suit our unique and particular needs. It really does give us the competitive advantage especially in a place like Zambia, where there’s traditionally a very low level of technological integration into the security industry and the fact that we have gotten so far in such a short time speaks to FILE13 value-add and user-friendliness,” says Jon.
The future of G4S and Bloodhound
Going forward, G4S has three goals: integrating FILE13 with third-party incident and case management software; finalising all checklists for the Lusaka pilot programme and then rolling out FILE13 to other regions where G4S has a sizable number of employees. Ultimately, G4S wants to do away with operational centres in the outlying areas by centralising all operations at a national control safety hub. All management information and real-time data collected using FILE13 will feed into this central control centre, where it will be analysed to provide a bird’s-eye view of operations for the whole country.
“Bloodhound’s solution has had a substantial impact on both our business efficiency and our growth strategy. In addition, FILE13 provided us with the most effective and accurate means of monitoring personnel and service levels. We will recommend Bloodhound without reservation,”Jon Mortimer, Managing Director of G4S Zambia.